Haile Selassie's Children

Haile Selassie had a total of 7 children. He had one daughter from his first marriage, Romane Worq. From his second marriage to Menen, he had six children; Tenagne Worq, Asfa Wossen, Zenabe Worq, Tshai, Makonnen (Duke of Harar), and Sahle Selassie.

Romane Worq

Romane Worq was Haile Selassie's first child from his first marriage. Romane Worq was taken to Italy as prisoner and died there from illness (Del Boca 193).

Tenagne Worq

Tenagne Worq is Haile Selassie’s first child from his marriage to Menen. She married Ras Desta Damtew (Mockler 19), who was one of leaders that fought in the Italian invasion in the 1930s. She accompanied her father in Bath, where he took exile during the brief Italian occupation. She was one of the few people who saw her father shortly before he died during his imprisonment by the Derg (Del Boca 27). She and here children were also imprisoned by the Derg (Del Boca 33-4). She died in 2003.

Asfa Wossen

Asfa Wossen was Haile Selassie’s first born son and was expected to succeed him upon his death. Haile Selassie had a complicated relationship with his first born son. In 1960, during the failed coup attempt to dethrone Haile Selassie, Asfa Wossen was set to become the new king of Ethiopia. Asfa Wossen said he went along with the perpetrators of the coup because he feared for his life. However, suspicion that he used the excuse only because the coup failed further strained his relationship with his father.

Asfa Wossen was out of the country when Derg overthrew his father in 1974. Asfa Wossen died in exile in 1997.

Zenabe Worq

Zenabe Worq was married off to a descendant of Emperor Yohannes when she was only a teenager. She died at a young age due to birth complications (Mockler 29).


Tshai, like several of her siblings, spent her formative years in Bath. When she arrived in Bath, she was 16 (Bowers 43). She very quickly became popular; her photograph appeared in the local newspaper the first week she arrived in Bath (Bowers 47). Tshai moved to Lonon and trained as a nurse at Great Ormond Street Hospital. After becoming a certified nurse, she worked at Guy's Hospital (Holmes 719).

She returned to Ethiopia after the end of the Italian Occupation. After returning to Ethiopia, she worked at Dessie Hospital (Holmes 719). She died in 1942 giving birth (Bowers 144). After her death, a hospital was named after her, the Princess Tsehai Memorial Hospital (Holmes 719).

Makonnen (Duke of Harar)

Makonnen was Haile Selassie’s favorite. Makonnen was just 13 when the family moved to Bath in 1936 (Bowers 43). Makonnen excelled in school and had his picture appear in the local papers on more than one occasion (Bowers 102-3). Makonnen died in a car accident in 1957.

Sahle Selassie

Sahle Selassie was Haile Selassie's youngest child. He was educated at Oxford (Vestal 78). As a young man, he learned to fly planes (Vestal 3).

Sahle Selassie died in 1962. His son, Ermias Sahle Selassie, is the president of the Crown Council of Ethiopia.

Bowers, Keith. Imperial Exile - Emperor Haile Selassie in Britain 1936-40. 2016.

Del Boca, Angelo. The Negus. Addis Ababa: Arada Books, 2012.

Holmes, Rachel. Sylvia Pankhurst: Natural Born Rebel. 2020. Pg 719

Mockler, Anthony. Haile Selassie's war. New York: Olive Branch Press, 2003.

Vestal, Theodore M. The lion of Judah in the new world. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger, 2011.